What is the theory here, economist guy? You don't want too many people on your webpage? The obvious theory is that you don't like what people are going to say on your post that demands that we all bow to the scientific consensus on global warming. As Barack Obama likes to say the time for debate is over. We need to shut up now.
Krugman, like quite a few others, is writing about the new Freakonomics book — "SuperFreakonomics" — which says some inconvenient things about global warming:
The chapter [on global warming] opens with the “global cooling” story — the claim that 30 years ago there was a scientific consensus that the planet was cooling, comparable to the current consensus that it’s warming.I don't see what's all "yikes" about taking an economist's assessment of the chance of something happening and then drawing a different conclusion about what policies ought to be adopted. And Krugman is accusing the authors — Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner — of misrepresenting what Weitzman said. I haven't read Weitzman or "SuperFreakonomics," but on the face of it, the accusation is incoherent.
Um, no.... What you had in the 70s was a few scientists advancing the cooling hypothesis, and a few popular media stories hyping their suggestions....
What you have today is a massive research program involving thousands of scientists...
And then we come to a bit of economics. The book asks
Do the future benefits from cutting emissions outweigh the costs of doing so? Or are we better off waiting to cut emissions later — or even, perhaps, polluting at will and just learning to live in a hotter world?Yikes. I read Weitzman’s paper, and have corresponded with him on the subject — and it’s making exactly the opposite of the point they’re implying it makes. Weitzman’s argument is that uncertainty about the extent of global warming makes the case for drastic action stronger, not weaker.
The economist Martin Weitzman analyzed the best available climate models and concluded that the future holds a 5 percent chance of a terrible-case scenario....
And Krugman blocks commenting, on the purported theory that he can't be overwhelmed. Ha ha. He would be overwhelmed by comments saying he hasn't made a coherent point. He's hoping we will bow to his economics expertise and the fact that he's read Weitzman, he knows Weitzman. And it's harder to make gullible NYT readers buy that when the comments are ruthlessly poking holes in it.
The global warming "consensus" is all about telling us to stop talking and bow to expertise. That pose is laughable in a world of new media where you can no longer turn off the comments.